Saturday 11 July 2015

"Do us a favour and buy a TV licence"

James (Purnell) Heath

The Times headline Do us a favour and buy a TV licence, BBC urges the over-75s pithily summarises a point made by a senior BBC editor on the BBC blog

This is what James Heath, the BBC's director of policy writes:
Let’s first look at the cost part of the equation. The cost of over 75s TV licences will be transferred to the BBC on a phased basis, starting in 2018/19 with the full liability met by the BBC from 2020/21. We estimate this will reduce the BBC’s licence fee income by around £725m pa. We will give those eligible households an opportunity to voluntarily pay for a TV licence and so make a contribution to the cost of the BBC’s services. In the next Parliament, the BBC will take-on responsibility for the over 75s policy and how this balances with funding services to audiences.
By the way, I had to check that The Times had the right 'James' here. I wrongly assumed former Labour cabinet minister James Purnell was the BBC's director of policy but, no, he's actually the BBC's director of strategy. Former Labour advisor James Heath really is the BBC's director of policy. 

Glad to have cleared that up. 


  1. I love the "give households the opportunity". We should be so grateful ! The arrogance of the BBC is breathtaking. But at least they accept that they must take their full share of the "austerity" which they have avoided so far.

  2. Lord Hall has already admitted that the BBC will either break even or make a little profit off this new arrangement over the long term. In exchange for giving up the £650 million pa subsidy from the government to cover that, the BBC will get back the £150 million that has been 'top-sliced' and handed over to C4 and others, plus will finally be able to require a new format of license fee to use the iPlayer. So a lot of people who have stopped paying it will probably bite the bullet and start paying again. Plus the license fee will go up by £10.

    Yet here's the BBC crying poverty again, and rattling the tin cup in front of pensioners, FFS. Grasping, arrogant Beeboids, with no appreciation for where money comes from.


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